Editorial: ageism and Australia

When my grandmother passed away just over a year ago, one of the things that gave me peace was seeing the love and care she received in her final days, from both family and staff at her residential aged care facility.

Unfortunately, not everyone is shown this kind of dignity and respect as they age.

While interviewing people for research for this edition’s feature article on elder abuse (page 9), a common theme which came up was our problem of ageism in Australia. The 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission Report, Elder Abuse: a national legal response, also names it as a problem. According to the report, Australia’s population is ageing, as we are living longer and having fewer children. In 2014–2015, 15% of our population was aged 65 or over and this is expected to rise to 23% by 2055. Continue Reading

Editorial: Listening to the #metoo movement

By now you’ve probably heard all about the #metoo movement, sparked by the outing of American film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of women, over decades in the industry. Since then, numerous allegations have been made against others, some who had claimed to be supporters of the movement. Some whose work I have really loved in the past.

It’s fairly obvious that the entertainment industry has a problem with misogyny; it’s in so many of the shows and movies we watch, but many of us have  learned to just accept that’s the way it is. We’ve all seen the jokes and comments about female actresses not getting anywhere in their career unless they perform sexual acts with the men above them.

As workplaces have progressed in the way women are treated (though there is still a way to go in many) it seems Hollywood has managed to retain its  misogyny all in the name of entertainment. In some ways, I think some of these men have been given so much freedom and power that they were bound to abuse it. Obviously, that doesn’t make it right. Continue Reading


So much has been going on in Australian politics in the lead-up to printing this edition of Revive. In a landslide victory, Australia has voted yes in the marriage equality postal survey, and crazy things are happening around our Federal MPs concerning dual citizenship.

But a horror situation is also unfolding on Manus Island.

I’ve struggled to keep up with news on this situation, I think because I feel utterly helpless. But as Revive goes to print, around 600 men have been abandoned by the Australian Government at the Manus Island Detention Centre. They fear for their safety if they leave. Their food, power and water has been cut and I can’t even imagine the mental anguish they must be going through.Continue Reading

Editorial: award celebrations

It’s been a big month for us here at Revive.

In late August, I was lucky enough to travel to Auckland, New Zealand, for the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) conference and awards. Not only did I get to catch-up with editors and colleagues from Uniting Church publications from around the country, but I also had the opportunity to spend time with editors of Christian publications from various denominations – including our counterparts from WA religious press.

This year, Revive won two awards.We won a bronze award in the Best News Category for the article ‘Medicinal Cannabis: new legislation a helpful step,’ written by Elaenor Nield. This article celebrated the legalisation of cultivating medicinal cannabis in Australia, which the Uniting Church WA had campaigned for.

Revive also won a gold award in the Best Feature Single Author  category for an article I wrote titled ‘Embracing weirdness as a disciple of the Way.’ This article explored the role spirituality can play in living with mental illness. One of its strengths, I believe,  was the honesty in which Paul Montague, Uniting Church WA ministry candidate, shared his story with readers.

We’re thrilled to have won these awards among such well-respected colleagues and peers.

Revive wasn’t the only Uniting Church publication to win awards this year. Journey, Uniting Church QLD; Insights, Uniting Church NSW/ACT; and Crosslight, Uniting Church Vic/Tas all also won deserving awards.

In September, members of the Uniting Church WA also met for the 41st Annual Meeting of the Synod. A lot of news came out of the meeting, and you can also check out our Facebook or Twitter feeds for more news from the event.

Heather Dowling

Editorial: towards tolerance

A few weeks ago I did something I’d never done before; I visited a Jewish Synagogue.

Our profile story this edition is Rabbi Dovid Freilich, who is leaving the Rabbinate after 45 years of service. During our interview, he specifically asked me not to use the term ‘retire’ as he has plenty of life left in him to get involved in a host of other interests.

Our Moderator, Rev Steve Francis, actually alerted me to the story, as he had heard the Rabbi speak the night before on ‘tolerance versus respect’ and thought it was a story worth sharing. I have to agree.Continue Reading

Editorial: 40 years of the Uniting Church

I often hear people in the Uniting Church talking about the denomination they were part of before the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches combined to form the one church. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, we all draw on our pasts as the formation of who we are.

I, however, wasn’t around yet when the Uniting Church was formed, so I don’t remember the journey to Union, or the celebration. I was raised in this church though, born five years after Union; I guess you could call me a Uniting Church baby.

As a small child, I spent Easter camps at Daybreak Camp Farm building mud creations and running through gullies. I remember walking across fields and over rocks to a morning tea of hot cross  buns. I attended KUCA Camps (now KCO) and waited eagerly each year for them to come around, much like my son does now. A huge highlight of KUCA for me, and I’m sure others, was the  KUCA ‘radio station’ where we could ‘shout out’ to our friends and congregations.Continue Reading

Editorial: Getting crafty

It’s no secret among people who know me personally that I love craft – specifically knitting.

This year, knitting has been put in the spotlight with the rise of the Pussyhat global campaign and I couldn’t be more excited to see my fellow crafters standing together for an important cause.

I’ve loved writing the feature article on ‘craftivism’ for this edition, and I’m hoping there are lots of you out there who’ll connect with it too. Click here to read it.

I learnt to knit from my mum while I was in primary school. We were on a family driving holiday and my brothers and I would alternate as to who would sit in the front next to my mum and stepdad as we drove along. My mum was knitting a jumper for me throughout the trip, and I wanted to learn. So my stepdad made me some knitting needles out of wire and when it was my turn in the front my mum would teach me the ropes.

I managed to make a top for a doll on that trip, so I must’ve picked it up pretty fast. In the years following, my nanna also taught me to crochet, and both skills have played a huge part in my life. Continue Reading